Newsroom

Home  »  Newsroom  »  Drake News  »  Article

Feature film 'Ash' by Drake alumnus to debut in Des Moines

April 6, 2010
News Photo
Filmmaker and actor Tom Geraty, right, plays Ray Dewey and Harvey Roberts, left, plays his son, Nathan Dewey.

Drake alumnus Tom Geraty, director of Big Field Productions, led a collaborative team of Drake alumni and faculty to produce a film titled "Ash," which will debut in Des Moines on Thursday, April 8.

The film, which was shot in 18 days around the Des Moines area last spring, will have its first screening at 7 p.m. at the Fleur Cinema and Café, 4545 Fleur Drive. Cost for admission is $10.

The two-hour feature production will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Geraty, who graduated from Drake in 1984.

"Ash" is the story of Dan McBurney, an ex-cop, devoted husband and father of two young boys who turns vigilante when he discovers that a recent child-abductor lives across the street from his storage facility.

Dan's world begins to unravel as he risks losing what he loves most in order to redeem his lost childhood, innocence and brother.


News Photo
Drake graduate Kevin Kelly plays Donald Sandeman, the child-abductor next door.

The film is a product of efforts by Drake alumni and faculty members,
led by Geraty, who wrote, directed, produced and acted in the project.
Fellow Drake alumni and faculty contributed to the project in the
following roles:

  • John Burney, Drake vice provost for academic affairs, plays Al
  • Patrick Kelly, FA'86, served as director of photography
  • Kevin R. Kelly, FA'90, plays Donald Sandeman
  • Stephanie Brown, former Drake student, plays Lori McBurney

William S.E. "Doc" Coleman, Drake professor emeritus of theatre arts, also consulted on the project.

"I could go on and on about 'Doc' Coleman," said Geraty, who holds a
bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Drake.

"When I talk about a mentor, a teacher, an inspiration and someone who
has always been there to encourage me, I'm talking about him," he
added. "So when I had a first draft of a screenplay and needed to share
it with someone who would give me honest and valid feedback -- Doc was
the man."

Geraty also plays the role of Ray Dewey and his sons Seamus, 11, and Graham, 9, star as the main character's children.

A former member of the executive committee of Friends of Drake Arts,
Geraty has acted in numerous plays in Chicago and Des Moines and
collaborated on three Drake productions:

  • Co-directed the staged reading of "Inherit the Wind" in February 2010
  • Co-directed and starred in the live radio broadcast of "It's a Wonderful Life" in 2007
  • Co-starred in "The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" in 2006

Big Field Productions was established in April of 2009 to facilitate
the making and distribution of "Ash," and will continue to work on
future projects.

For more information, contact Tom Geraty at director@bigfieldproductions.com.